New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Disappointment of a Parent
1 [a]When Israel was a child I loved him,(A)
out of Egypt[b] I called my son.(B)
2 The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;(C)
but they did not know that I cared for them.
4 I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;[c]
I fostered them like those
who raise an infant to their cheeks;
I bent down to feed them.(D)
5 He shall return to the land of Egypt,(E)
Assyria shall be his king,
because they have refused to repent.
6 The sword shall rage in his cities:
it shall destroy his diviners,
and devour them because of their schemings.
7 My people have their mind set on apostasy;
though they call on God in unison,
he shall not raise them up.
But Love Is Stronger and Restores
8 How could I give you up, Ephraim,
or deliver you up, Israel?
How could I treat you as Admah,
or make you like Zeboiim?[d](F)
My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
9 I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not a man,(G)
the Holy One present among you;
I will not come in wrath.
10 They shall follow the Lord,
who roars like a lion;(H)
When he roars,
his children shall come frightened from the west,
11 Out of Egypt they shall come trembling, like birds,
like doves, from the land of Assyria;
And I will resettle them in their homes,
oracle of the Lord.
- 11:1–3 After the image of husband-wife (chaps. 1–3), Hosea uses the image of parent-child (Ex 4:22; Is 1:2; Jer 3:19).
- 11:1 Out of Egypt: Hosea dates the real beginning of Israel from the time of the exodus. Mt 2:15 applies this text to the return of Jesus from Egypt.
- 11:4 I drew them…with bands of love: perhaps a reversal of the yoke imagery of the previous chapter, i.e., not forcing them like draft animals, but drawing them with kindness and affection.
- 11:8 Admah…Zeboiim: cities in the vicinity of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 14:2, 8) and destroyed with them (Gn 19:24–25; Dt 29:22).